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Cheung Kong’s Chiu plays down property bubble worries

HONG KONG: Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd Executive Director Justin Chiu said governments shouldn’t control all bubbles and he doesn’t mind a property bubble if it doesn’t burst.

Chiu sees “no oversupply” of office space in Singapore, where 70% of the company’s Marina Bay Financial Centre office development is “taken up,” he said in Hong Kong today. The 2.6 million-square-foot office and residential bayfront project is also being developed by Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd and Singapore’s Keppel Land Ltd.

“As a developer, I don’t really mind a bubble as long as it doesn’t burst,” Chiu said during a panel discussion at a real estate conference. “If I drink champagne, I don’t like to drink flat champagne.”

Chiu said governments should not control all bubbles, “otherwise the market will be a dead market.”

Hong Kong’s government leaders, including Chief Executive Donald Tsang, recently expressed concerns about a property bubble, and the Hong Kong Monetary

Authority raised the minimum down payment for luxury real-estate purchases to 40% from 30%.

Cheung Kong is interested in taking part in the Hong Kong government land auction for two residential sites on the Tai Po waterfront in the suburban New Territories next month, Chiu said.
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